Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage, and Family Life

Jacob Kohlhaas, Loras College (Iowa), jacob.kohlhaas@loras.edu

Megan McCabe, Boston College (MA), megan.mccabe@bc.edu


The Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage and Family section (formerly “Marriage and Family Life”) welcomes both paper and panel proposals from across theological disciplines related to the study of sexuality, relationships, courtship, marriage, family, parenting, children, single life, and other topics associated with intimate human relationships and/or family units. Preference will be shown to proposals that reflect the conference theme: “American Catholicism in the 21st Century: Crossroads, Crisis, or Renewal?” However, all proposals relevant to the interests of the section are welcome


Potential topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

·      Interdisciplinary considerations of the state of courtship, marriage, family, childrearing in the US in the early 21st century.

·      Trends or transitions in American or Catholic conceptions on singleness, relationships, or parenthood in the early 21st century.

·      The shaping and reshaping of American Christian belief or practice in light of recent events within the Catholic Church, including the synods on the family, Pope Francis’ visit to the US, the World Meeting of Families, the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitae, etc.

·      The implications of recent US social realities which impact the lives of families, including debates over religious liberty, marriage equality, immigration and the refugee crisis, violence and firearms, economic inequality, race, the 2016 political races, etc.

·      The influence of shifting norms around gender and sexuality on expectations for models of kinship, marriage, parenting, etc.

·      The relationship of Catholic conceptions of relationships, marriage, and family to the role of family life in the American Dream.

·      Alternative models of family outside of nuclear family, especially in light of single life, extended family units, and the progression through phases of life.

·      Models of Christian kinship among celibate religious in the American context.

·      Theological reflection on sexuality in the United States particularly in relation to on the ground realities in diverse contexts including “hook up culture,” pornography, or celibate life, etc.


Proposals submitted to this section may also be considered for presentation in a joint three-section panel on “Theology and the American Dream” arranged among the following sections:

1.     Sexuality, Relationships, Marriage and Family

2.     Anthropology, Psychology and Religion

3.     Feminisms, Gender, and Theology


Please submit your proposal via email to both of the conveners listed above.


The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.

Email: secretary@collegetheology.org

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